Salmon

Washington Fish and Game

After giving the OK to a wolf hunting competition on Idaho public land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reversed its decision.

Idaho officials have approved a coho salmon fishing season on the Clearwater River following efforts by the Nez Perce Tribe to bring salmon back after they disappeared about 30 years ago.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday approved the sport fishing season that starts Friday and runs through Nov. 16.

Anglers will be allowed to keep two coho salmon per day and up to 10 for the monthlong season on portions of the Mainstem and Middle Fork Clearwater River.

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June because of the cracked Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington.

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating a problem for migrating salmon.

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government's management plan for protecting salmon and steelhead killed by federal dams in the Columbia River basin differs little from its earlier version and continues to rely heavily on habitat improvement. 

wildfires
U.S. Forest Service

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday afternoon for the Boise National Forest and parts of the Payette National Forest. Dry and windy conditions could make firefighting efforts in those areas difficult and could spark new flames there's lighting. 

Power Company PacifiCorp has offered to draw down two of its reservoirs on the Klamath River this summer to try to help ranchers facing a water shutoff in Oregon’s Klamath basin.

Upper Klamath lake is like a giant reservoir at the top of the Klamath River.  The bureau of reclamation balances how much water stays in the lake, how is much is diverted for irrigation, and how much is released down the Klamath River to keep migrating salmon cool.

For thousands of years, Northwest tribes have used the Columbia River as a regional center of commerce. For the first time this summer, they’re building a new venue for their ancient tradition – a native-owned seafood shop.

Fresh catch

A silvery shad slips into an icy bath. Its tail flashes twice as it descends deeper into the chilly water. The fish was netted from the Columbia just moments ago. It’s so fresh it’s still kicking.

Northwest Tribes Maximize Steelhead Populations

Mar 28, 2013
Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin are threatened. Current populations have dwindled to a fraction of the historic numbers a century ago. That has led two Northwest Indian Tribes to try something new to help this struggling fish survive.  Both tribes are learning from each other along the way.

The snow is almost gone in north Idaho. But it’s still cold, almost freezing on this early morning at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery near Orofino.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday makes it harder for miners to gain access to Northwest rivers. Environmental groups hailed the decision as a major victory.

EarthFix

During the course of their lives some salmon travel thousands of miles - out to the open ocean to feed and mature. Then, after a few years, they head back to the exact river where they hatched, to spawn the next generation. Scientists don’t fully understand how salmon find their way home, but a new study might provide some more answers.

The answer is magnets - according to a new study in the journal Current Biology.

Seven fish biologists working in Southern Oregon filed a scientific misconduct complaint yesterday. They say the Bureau of Reclamation plans to disband their team because their studies were unpopular.

Four different federal agencies are all working to save threatened salmon and endangered suckerfish that live in the Klamath river and Klamath lake.

Biologists with the Bureau of Reclamation say some of their fish studies had unusual results.

In one example, they found a population of endangered suckerfish in a part of the river other agencies considered a dead zone.

Salmon
Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Environmentalists, farmers and irrigators could play a bigger role in creating long term management policies for Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead. The government has asked two university programs in Oregon and Washington to act as mediators over the next six months, talking with more than 200 organizations, states and tribes in order to find a better way of managing fish.

www.elkmtnranch.com

A state committee will move forward with inspecting two Salmon schools to determine whether a state fund can be tapped to repair or rebuild the schools. 

Salmon School District 291 is looking for new revenue after local voters have rejected seven separate bond levies since 2005.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Environmentalists, irrigators, and other stakeholders in the Northwest are being offered an expanded role in shaping the long-term recovery plan for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries is the federal agency in charge of salmon recovery in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The agency Tuesday sent letters to hundreds of stakeholders in the Northwest. It invites them to provide input on the plan it is working on to restore salmon and steelhead populations.

Working For Idaho's Extinct Coho Salmon

Dec 7, 2012
Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The Northwest’s declining salmon runs have spurred marathon legal battles and inspired billions in spending to save the iconic species.

But Idaho’s coho salmon were never listed as endangered before they went extinct in 1987. Few people noticed when the fish were gone. But the Nez Perce Indian tribe did. And thanks to its extraordinary efforts, coho are once again returning by the thousands to Idaho waters.

Salmon the Focus of Northwest Rivers Initiative

Oct 31, 2012
Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Dams, agriculture, urban development -- they’ve all contributed to the loss of quality habitat for Northwest salmon.  Old time gold mining in one Idaho river has also left problems behind for salmon and steelhead.


The Salmon River is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the Pacific Northwest. The mountains, clean water and abundant fish and wildlife have attracted hundreds of people like Jerry Meyers, who calls this place home.


Jerry Meyers is an outfitter - guiding summer visitors down the Salmon River in search of a good fishing hole.

Sea Lions At Bonneville Dam Kill Estimated 2,500 Sturgeon

Oct 16, 2012
Travis S. / Flickr

Biologists say the sea lions that scoop up fish at the foot of Bonneville dam on the Columbia river have killed more sturgeon this year than salmon.

Two different species of sea lions like to feast at Bonneville.  California sea lions only eat salmon.  But Stellar sea lions arrive earlier in the year. While they wait for the spring salmon run to start, they snack on sturgeon.

Biologists with the Army Corps of Engineers estimate that this year, the Stellar sea lions ate about 2,500 sturgeon.

Agencies Release Annual Salmon Report

Oct 1, 2012
Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Federal agencies Friday delivered a mixed report card on their efforts to recover endangered salmon in the Columbia River.

The report was delivered to federal judge Michael Simon in Portland. He is overseeing the legal case involving salmon and dams along the Columbia. The Bonneville Power Administration says this year's report shows some improvement in returning adult salmon and steelhead numbers. In 2011, the number of adult salmon migrating past the Bonneville Dam was the fourth highest since 1938.

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